Ocean City News In Brief
OCEAN CITY - In the brief this week, the Ocean City budget passed through first reading, council granted an unused EDU to an entity who desperately needed it, a new downtown business could help draw some foot traffic off the Boardwalk and onto Baltimore Avenue and local cops join the world of social networking.
Proposed Budget Reaches Final Stage Before Approval
Any resident who would like to contest the town's proposed $112 million budget for fiscal year 2009-10 has one more chance to do it, as council passed it through on first reading in a unanimous vote on Monday.
After council trimmed the tax rate per $100 of assessed valuation from City Manager Dennis Dare's proposed 41 cents to 39.5 cents (which is still more than 2008's 38 cents), it seems that the budget is moving through the necessary process as it cruised through first reading with little debate.
The budget, which includes a $75.8 million general fund, has been called 'the toughest budget' that he'd ever dealt with in his 26 years in working with the town, according to City Manager Dennis Dare.
After millions of dollars in city-wide cuts and 'right-sizing', the town also had to plan for a projected 10-percent (which ended up being more like 9 percent) cut in grant money from Worcester County, and big declines in property tax revenue.
Town officials seem to be quite eager to enact this budget into motion, and put what has been a grueling process seemingly behind them, though some in the town's hierarchy, including Dare, are admittedly a bit concerned about next year.
The budget must be approved and finalized before June 1, according to City Solicitor Guy Ayres.
Town To Donate Extra EDUs
To Volunteer Fire Company
The City Council granted the usage of an unused EDU (Equivalent Dwelling Unit) to the Ocean City Volunteer Fire Company, after Mayor Rick Meehan informed council the firefighters were in dire need of an additional EDU to complete the renovations to the West Ocean City fire station.
'We do have an EDU near the Food Lion on Route 611 in West Ocean City that we are not using, I hope that we could go ahead and allocate that to the volunteer firemen as they are under a bit of a time constraint,' said Meehan.
As there are different kinds of EDU's, Meehan said that the Route 611 one that was motioned and approved by council in an unanimous vote, was 'exactly what they needed to finish their project.'
Mom Bringing Laser
Tag Business To OC
The Ocean City Planning and Zoning Commission approved plans for a new laser tag business that will fill several currently vacant storefronts in the downtown area of Ocean City on Baltimore Avenue.
Lisa Connelly of Elkton, Md. and her family will now turn the property sitting at 203 S. Baltimore Ave into a jungle-themed laser tag business.
'We want a classy operation for families, said Connelly. 'I'm a mother of six and it's very important to me to have healthy and fun entertainment for children, and have an activity that we can do with our children. That's kind of where this all started from.'
The new laser tag business, which is registered under the name MiMaMe LLC, will charge $7.50 per game, which is the same as the other laser tag business in town, and will feature $80,000 worth of state-of-the-art Nexus equipment, which uses non-optical lasers, is extremely lightweight and has increased safety features for participants.
Glenn Irwin, executive director of the Ocean City Development Corporation (OCDC), pledged his support of the business during the public hearing on Tuesday, citing that the business would provide another 'rainy day activity' for the residents and visitors of Ocean City and would more than likely become a 'destination business, which has been heavily desired in the downtown area for some time.'
'I think this is a great idea, said Planning Commissioner Lauren Taylor. 'This will give people something else to do downtown other than the Boardwalk, and we certainly don't want those stores sitting vacant.'
OCPD Looks To Better
Inform Through Social Sites
In an effort to keep both Ocean City residents and visitors better informed regarding public safety and crime prevention information, the Ocean City Police Department has announce it has established itself on the internet 'social media' scene.
The OCPD has created a 'Web-Blog' at http://ocpdmdinfo.blogspot.com. Citizens can go to this newly created Internet site and view the latest information about public safety, crime prevention tips, officer related updates and current events.
In addition, the OCPD can also be found on YouTube at www.youtube.com/ocpdmd, Twitter at
www.twitter.com/OCPDMDINFO and on www.Facebook.com.
If you're interested in learning more about the free OCPD Social Media information sites, join the department for a free information seminar on Wednesday, June 3 at the Ocean City Convention Center from 4-5:30 p.m. or 7-8:30 p.m. Please RSVP to OCPDpublicaffairs@ococean.com or by calling 410-723-6665 or 410-520-5395.